TheHorseCourse Youth-Friendly Spaces

by Harriet Laurie in Weymouth

We did it
On 2nd August 2017 we successfully raised £11,151 with 48 supporters in 42 days

We are an award winning charity renovating a disused farm in Weymouth. Please watch our 4 min movie to see what we do.

by Harriet Laurie in Weymouth

 New stretch target

THANK YOU to everyone who helped us get to our original target!  Now let's see if we can reach our stretch target!!

Any additional funds raised beyond our £10,000 target will be used to kit out the spaces with appropriate IT/AV equipment for learning, appliances, and multi-purpose furnishings.  We want our spaces to be versatile so that as well as NHS professionals using it as an "unofficial" therapy space, we can also run our national facilitator training sessions, our innovative non-verbals training for frontline professionals, and lend space to local schools and groups to come and draw, paint,  and sculpt horses.  We even have a yoga teacher keen to run meditation and yoga alongside our horses!!   The extra target of £5,000 will enable us to make all of this possible!

TheHorseCourse new home - essential facilities for our youth participants  

If we can quickly raise £2,500, then Dorset County Council have committed to donating £5,000.  Please donate today!

Above is the arena where our participants and facilitators work with horses (see  We need to build a warm, private cabin looking into the arena - for vulnerable young people during breaks, and for their case-workers or families who often come to observe the sessions with horses.

We also have a horse barn where our horses come and go as a herd. It is set up so that humans can hang out alongside the horses -  but it is very rough at the moment and will only be at all comfortable while the weather is nice!  Our aim is to make the human side into a warm, friendly café / kitchen for learning and group sessions.

Our Patron Martin Clunes says, "I love TheHorseCourse because it works. Not everybody can talk to a person and describe their problems, but these hand-picked, special animals give kids a chance."

TheHorseCourse works with over 200 people per year (aged 8 to adult), and around 70% of our work is with young people between the ages of 8-18.  We are a world-leader in working with those who are not responding to traditional talk-based approaches.  All of our work is by referral from professionals in education, children’s services, mental health, social work, or other specialist organisations who work with people who are excluded from school or society because of serious difficulties with managing their mental health, emotions and behaviour. This can present as isolation, self-harm, aggression, offending, drug and alcohol misuse or many other problems.

By the time we see young people, they have usually been through multiple services and we are often a last resort.  Our referrers tell us that 10-20% of their caseloads fit into this “hard to reach” bracket and we present a much-needed option with real evidence of success. See for more on our impact.

After participating in TheHorseCourse's ReStart programme, 81% of participants show significant improvement across 8 core skills:

  • calmness
  • assertiveness
  • focus & perseverance
  • empathy
  • communication
  • responsibility
  • realistic planning, and
  • confidence as a learner


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

You will be invited on a guided tour around the new premises, watch a session in action, and "have a go" if you would like to!

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